Alumni Profile: Ron WelbornOct. 10, 2019
By Caroline Mitchell
Tucked among the Colorado Rocky Mountains and located between Gunnison and Crested Butte is Wilder on the Taylor, a recreational and preservation-oriented ranch of over 2,100 acres. The man behind this ranch is Ron Welborn BBA ’98.
As a senior at Baylor, Welborn was interested in real estate at a time when the industry was doing well. Industry professionals and CEOs spoke in many of his business classes which sparked his initial interest in real estate.
“I listened and I learned. I thought, ‘If Baylor felt they should bring in these speakers and be influential upon the students, then I’ll try to take it on and do what they’re telling us,’” Welborn said. “The real-world aspect of learning at Baylor is what I took away.”
Welborn found a piece of property while a senior at Baylor and started approaching friends and family to raise money to enter the development business.
Jackson-Shaw, a real estate development and investment firm in Dallas, Texas, ultimately purchased this land from Welborn making it his entry into the real estate business and he hasn’t stopped since. Welborn began working for Jackson-Shaw after graduating Baylor in 1998 and continues to work at the firm today. He now serves as Vice President of Development for Jackson-Shaw.
Welborn is responsible for locating, acquiring, developing and financing residential and land development for Jackson-Shaw. His most unique project to date is Wilder on the Taylor.
Wilder on the Taylor is a second home to many families looking to gather and retreat from the busyness of life. The ranch is situated on the Taylor River, a tailwater fed out of the Taylor Reservoir. Jackson-Shaw was inspired to pursue this project because of rumors the ranch was going to be turned into a golf course.
“We thought that would be a tragedy,” Welborn said. “We thought, ‘Let’s get involved and see if we can do this responsibly.’”
Welborn and his team expanded the ranch’s water resources, hay meadows and cow operation.
“We’ve taken the challenge to keep it a working ranch and improve upon the ecosystem around the ranch,” Welborn said.
The property is over 2,100 acres and contains 32 one-acre home sites. Outside of each home’s one-acre envelope, the rest of the property is owned in common by the residents. Residents share the cows, rivers, ponds and other resources available on the property.
Welborn says the vision for Wilder on the Taylor is to have an eco-friendly development in Colorado that will remain in its natural state. He says the future of Wilder is a “generational holding for families” and “is a place for the owners to get to know each other while protecting the ranch in its entirety from here on out.”
Welborn is married to a Baylor alumna, Lizzie, and the two reside in Dallas, Texas with their four daughters. He appreciates the spark Baylor ignited for him and the relationships that continue. The Baylor family lasts a lifetime, something Welborn never wants to take for granted as he continues to connect with his classmates, roommates and fraternity brothers.
“There is a network and professionalism of the friends and relationships that have come out of Baylor and continue to be fostered,” Welborn said. “It’s always reassuring that there are Baylor graduates you can continue to learn from.”